Wednesday, 29 October 2014
Hi everyone. Just a reminder that I'm going to be doing a book signing on the 31st of October at Hide N Geek. I hope that people will be able to attend the event. I will have copies of my books there if you want to buy the latest one.
There will be a signing fee of £5 - £2.00 of which will be given to charity.
Monday, 27 October 2014
1. What’s the most blatant lie you’ve ever told?
Hmmm. I’m not the most honest person ever, but I’m more the type to sin by omission or to carefully curate my words until they seem to say something different from how I actually feel. But in terms of bold-faced lies, I can recall a time when I received two copies of Mario 64 for Christmas, so my father took me to return one at Circuit City. (Yes, I know how dated that all makes this story sound.) We were discussing returning the cartridge with a clerk who asked, “Where did you get it originally?” when my father turned to me and suddenly developed a horrible seizure in just his left eyelid. “Uh…I think we got it here,” I replied. Of course, we hadn’t, because Santa had gotten it (a) and Circuit City didn’t sell Nintendo 64 games (b) so the whole “returning it illicitly to the wrong store without a receipt” plan didn’t really pan out.
2. Do you push the elevator button more than once? Does it really make it go faster?
Hell no. That’s stupider’n Hell. Now, the crosswalk buttons on the other hand…
3. If you were the ruler of the world, what laws would you make?
Law #1: No more bangs.
Law #2: That is all.
4. What was your last dream about?
Frasier kept arguing with Niles about something really pretentious, then for some reason Worf got involved and started lecturing them both about honor. Wait, was that a dream or did I just fall asleep with the TV on?
5. Would you break a law to save a loved one?
Nah, fuck those guys.
6. Is there a message in your novels you want the readers to grasp?
Well, yeah, of course, but once it’s in the hands of the readers it becomes their novel to interpret or misinterpret as they see fit. The Jungle sure as shit wasn’t supposed to lead to meat inspection reform and considering Rand was an atheist I doubt John Galt is supposed to be a Christ figure, but people are going to take away whatever people are going to take away.
7. Would you rather be the good guy or the bad guy in a movie?
Bad guy. I’ve always sympathized with the villain. I used to record the Imperial March at the end of Star Wars to audio cassette (yeah, I know, I’m dating my stories again) so I could listen to it and pretend I was Darth Vader. Not really sure why. I guess that says something about me.
8. If you could change places with any of your favourite fictional characters and change one of their choices, who, what and why?
Katniss & Haymitch: OTL.
9. Would you rather be trampled by one elephant sized mouse or one hundred mice sized elephants?
I’m probably overthinking this, but bearing in mind that my larger cat is about 22 lbs and even my smaller cat has got to be 10, and when they start kneading me it gets annoying but not exactly into the kill zone, I figure a mouse-sized elephant, at about a tenth of THAT size, is not really going to do any damage, whereas an elephant-sized mouse would probably knock my house down to get at the peanut butter.
10. What eye colour do you find sexiest?
Whatever color my wife’s eyes are, of course.
Six billion identical clones make up the entire population of Earth, and William 790-6 (57th Iteration) is exactly like everybody else. In his one year of life he will toil in suburban mediocrity and spend as much cash as possible in order to please his corporate masters. When 790’s first birthday (and scheduled execution) finally rolls around, a freak accident spares his life.
Living past his expiration date changes 790 profoundly. Unlike other clones he becomes capable of questioning the futility of his own existence. Seeking answers in the wilderness, he discovers a windmill with some very strange occupants, including a freakish, dinosaur-like monstrosity. Which is especially strange since every animal on earth is supposed to be extinct…
Dark, haunting, and blisteringly satirical, BILLY AND THE CLONEASAURUS is the story of one “man’s” attempt to finally become an individual in a world of copies.
Stephen Kozeniewski lives with his wife and two cats in Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the modern zombie. During his time as a Field Artillery officer in the U.S. Army he served for three years in Oklahoma and one in Iraq, where, due to what he assumes was a clerical error, he was awarded the Bronze Star. He is also a classically trained linguist, which sounds much more impressive than saying his bachelor’s is in German.
Amazon - amazon.com/author/kozeniewski
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/KozAuthor
Twitter - https://twitter.com/outfortune
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7183355.Stephen_Kozeniewski
Blog - http://manuscriptsburn.blogspot.com
Mailing List - http://kozauthor.campayn.com/contact_list_form/signup/10334
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Hi everyone. I'm going to be doing a book signing on the 31st of October at Hide N Geek. I hope that people will be able to attend the event. I will have copies of my books there if you want to buy the latest one.
There will be a signing fee of £5 - £2.00 of which will be given to charity.
Monday, 20 October 2014
... Essel Pratt
Final Reverie is a book about the everlasting bond between best friends and their loyalty to one another. The main characters are Chij and Franklyn. Franklyn is an adolescent boy and Chij is his wold brother. The story takes place after the demise of technology and the capture of the nefarious fiend, Nafets. The pair is tasked with the quest to find Nafets’ place of capture and destroy him before he regains the magical power needed to rules once again.
Along the way, the boys meet up with heroes of the past and gain their knowledge and power to succeed in their journey. However, a new evil that is hell-bent on gaining the lost power of Nafets is hot on their trail. Atrin is a powerful beast, focused on revenge and hatred, and willing to use the boys as his pawn to steal Nafets’ power.
Final Reverie is the first of three projected books, each telling the story in reverse order. It is my first full novel and the characters grew on me from the very beginning. Originally, the concept started out as a short story in an animal anthology that I am included in. However, the characters would not leave my mind. Their story was just too big to leave alone. So, I took the plunge and outlined the full novel. From there, the story matured into what is published today.
2. What is the most demeaning thing said about you as a writer and how did you bounce back from it?
When I first started writing, and I took the Pen Name Essel Pratt, I was writing for a couple of video game web sites. It allowed me to get my name out and gain some fans in the process. However, after a simple Google search of my name, I found a Facebook page of an individual that took my name and the picture of a television Rabbi to create a spoof persona that was quite raunchy and rude. After multiple attempts to report the page and plead with the imposter to stop pretending he was me, I was finally successful. However, the individual created a fake BBQ event where the character was killed off during the celebration. I was upset that my name was dragged through the dirt at such a fragile time in my writing career and was worried I would be mistaken for him. Luckily, he was soon forgotten after he disappeared and I was able to move in unscathed.
3. While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters?
I often attempt to place myself in the shoes of my characters, good or evil, to get a feeling for the emotion that surges through their souls. I believe it gives them a little more depth and understanding. Even as I was writing my second book, a children’s story called The ABCs of Zombie Friendship, I tried to feel what a young boy would experience as his best friend became a zombie. Although it is a simple ABC book for toddlers, it is still emotional for an adult. It actually made my publisher cry at one point.
In Final Reverie, there are many complex characters that have emotional depth to them. Getting in their minds and feeling what they felt was essential to the writing process. One character, Beals, is a small fox that lost her parents and family during a slaughter brought forth by Atrin. Although she was devastated by the loss, she held it in and put on a façade of bravery in order to move forward. It was tough to feel her emotion, because it felt like she could break at any moment and at times I felt a lump in my throat.
4. If you had to do it all over again, would you changed anything in your latest book?
Simply out, no. I put a lot of pride into my writing and strive to include all the details that make it what I envision. If I look back at a story and dwell on the “should haves” I don’t think I would get anywhere for future stories. If there is anything major missing, I feel that it can be readdressed in a future installment, sequel, or parallel tale.
5. Is there a message in your novels you want the readers to grasp?
Although not consistent in every story I write, I think that there is an overall message. In Final Reverie, the message is that friendship, teamwork, and self-belief can coerce achievement, despite the obstacles that might hold you back.
In ABCs of Zombie Friendship, the theme is about an everlasting friendship that cannot be broken or destroyed, even after death.
6. Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Hands down, my favourite author is C.S. Lewis. His vision and imagery in the world of Narnia hooked me from the beginning. Although his works were not horror, I try to instil a similar amount of imagery in my writings. I also find it intriguing that he did not stick to fantasy alone. Like him, I don’t try to tie myself down to a single genre. Instead, I write what I feel and use it to tell a story with meaning and depth.
7. Do you watch horror movies on or from behind the couch?
I have been watching horror movies since I was a very little boy, so definitely from on the couch. I tend to enjoy psychological horror better than slash horror, but if the antagonist has depth, I will enjoy it regardless. The scene in Friday the 13th where Jason thinks he is reunited with his mom, although it is just a girl he doesn’t know, wearing his mother’s sweater, gave me an appreciation for Jason. He is more than a maniac killer. Instead, he is a confused little boy in a grown man’s body, angry and longing to be reunited with the one person that cared for him. That scene gets me every time.
8. What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Just write. Don’t worry about the final product or what others may think. With practice, focus, and passion, your vision will come true. Don’t let bad reviews anger you. Instead, use them as fuel to make yourself better. Finally, don’t rise above your fans, be true to them and maintain the ability to be approachable.
9. How did you chose your genre?
The horror genre just came natural to me, as did the fantasy genre. Both are genres that I grew up on and fell in love with from the beginning. However, I have not shied away from other genres. Instead, I have an appreciation for them all.
10. What sort of Starbuck’s coffee would your characters order? Simple coffee, complicated soy-non-fat-extra-espresso-half-caff-nightmare?
I think my characters, overall, would drink the same as me. A dark roast jet black coffee. No sugar. No cream. No frilly additives. It is just simpler that way.
11. What would YOU like the reader to know about your book or about you in general?
I welcome feedback and love to interact with the readers. I love to read reviews for my works on Amazon and Goodreads. Initially, I write for myself and with my own vision in mind. However, hearing the reinforcement from fans makes me want to write more.
12. What sort of environment do you write in? (e.g. quiet room, a cupboard with headphones on, in a death match with the cat for control of the keyboard)
My writing space is typically in my dining room, with dual screens, our little Chihuhua at my side, one of our huskies at my feet, and maybe a cat or two yelling at me to pay attention to them. When I listen to music, I enjoy piano or violin versions of my favourite songs. The dynamic melodies help me envision a mood or event in the story. However, I tend to have the noises of the house as my overall soundtrack. Chatter from my kids and wife, the pets, traffic outside, the television, or a radio, usually accompany me while I write.
13. What was the point you realised that being an author was no longer a dream but a reality?
This probably occurred at about the time I was accepted into my tenth anthology. From that point on I knew there was no turning back. Now, after nearly thirty anthologies and two books, I don’t think I will ever stop writing.
14. How do you handle working with an editor without letting pride get in the way?
I feel that I have a good relationship with my editors. They are there to help me correct errors and clarify thoughts. Working with an editor is not about who wins or loses. Instead, it is about teamwork and compromise. In the end, both want to have a clean and presentable final product.
15. What alcoholic beverages do you favour when you hit a wall?
I don’t rely on alcoholic beverages as a means of breaking through the wall. However, I do enjoy a good dark craft beer while I am writing. Some of my favourites to sip on are Dragon’s Milk and Zombie Dust.
16. What is the strangest thing you’ve believe since you were a child?
Maybe it isn’t so strange, but I have always believed that imagination is the secret to life. Not the imagination of others, but the imagination within our own minds. Without it, we become lost and shrivel away into nothingness until we cease to exist.
Two heroes, Franklyn – an adolescent boy, and Chij – his wolf brother, travel the land with a sole purpose of helping those that cannot defend themselves from the creatures that lurk and feed upon the weak. Their carefree travels are unexpectedly given a larger purpose when they are tasked to search for, and destroy, the nefarious being known as Nafets – who was imprisoned many years prior but teeters on the edge of reemergence.
Throughout their journey, Franklyn and Chij encounter heroes of the past that guide them toward the final battle, as well as Atrin - an aspiring adversary that wishes to overthrow Nafets and claim his seat upon the throne of malevolence.
Franklyn and Chij endure an emotional journey filled with blood, tears, and self-discovery as they encounter the unexpected and become entangled in a expedition that will test their abilities and emotions.
Within the gates, overgrown brush and disobedient weeds conquer the once pristine necropolis. Ground level markers are all but lost within the underbrush and most of the aged headstones have deteriorated under the onslaught of harsh weather and layers of moss. A once magnificent mausoleum now hides in disgrace behind crumbling stone and invasive cat’s claw vines.
This is the resting place of heroes. All gave their lives in battle; some did so with a goal to conquer an evil force, still more wandered here by chance. Whether intended or not, everyone that slumbers here has perished while battling an evil being and has died with a hero’s honor.
Essel Pratt is from Mishawka, Indiana, a North Central town near the Michigan Border. His prolific writings have graced the pages of multiple anthologies, a couple self-published works, as well as his own creations.
As a husband, a father, and a pet owner, Essel's responsibilities never end. Other than a family man, he works a full time job an hour from his home, he is a writer for the Inquisitr, a full time student on his journey to a degree - while maintaining a 4.0 GPA, and is also the Chief of Acquisitions and Executive Assistant for J. Ellington Ashton Press. His means of relieving stress and relaxing equate to sitting in front of his dual screens and writing the tales within the recesses of his mind.
Saturday, 18 October 2014
My brother had a dream - to open his own shop. The trouble with most people is they sit around dreaming about what they want to do instead of really doing it but not him. On Friday the 17th of October, Hide N Geek opened its doors to the public.
Located at 10 Reindeer Court, in Worcester (England) his shop carries, toys, comics and games. There are a wide variety of comics & graphics novels on sale as well as role playing game manuals, the walking dead and games based on hit TV shows like Firefly.
They have a impressive display of figures from the Marvel universe, Star Wars and Doctor Who. Anything you don't see when you go in that you're looking for, just ask and its probably something that can be ordered for you. He has hopes to expand the range he offers in the near future.
You can check him out online too
Like his facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/TheHideNGeek
Or follow him on twitter - @thehidengeek
Monday, 13 October 2014
... Emmy Gattrell
1. Tell me about your book Meanmna: Book One of the Daearen Realms and where you got your inspiration for it?
The original seed came from a climate change denier on the radio. As I was listening to them, I asked my husband/yelled at the radio, “Why do they think every season is worse than the last? Fairies, its fairies isn’t it?” About a year later I went to write down notes from a dream and started Meanmna instead, and two weeks later I had a very rough first draft done.
2. Do you enjoy giving interviews?
I guess so. I like interviews like this where there are seemingly random questions that offer more insight to someone than a traditional interview would. I’ve created a fantasy world in my imagination, but in reality I lead a pretty simple life.
3. Do you push the elevator button more than once? Does it really make it go faster?
No, but when no one else is on the elevator, my kids and I jump as we pass the floors.
4. If you could change places with any of your favourite fictional characters and change one of their choices, who, what and why?
I have a general note to the authors of those fictional characters. There has to be more separating a couple other than the inability to communicate their feelings and thoughts to keep the story interesting. That still shouldn’t be the biggest obstacle in book six of a series or two for that matter. After they’ve almost broken up five times due to non-communication, I think they would learn their lesson. Just saying.
5. Do you watch horror movies on or from behind the couch?
My favorite is in bed, pitch black room, on a rainy day, with popcorn… Sometimes the mess of popcorn in bed is worth it. I also can’t wait to watch scary ones with my kids. I’m them getting ready with B-Sy-Fy movies like Sharknado and Sharknado: The Second One (our current favorites) they make us laugh and being scared is fun when it’s not real, so laughter’s important.
6. What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
The longer I do this I realize just how critical marketing is and how time-consuming it can be. So my advice would be to start setting up your marketing now. Get all your author pages, books pages, everything done yesterday so you can concentrate on writing; because it’s the next book that sells this one.
7. How did you choose your genre?
I write the stories I want to read. I love the world of make-believe and that myths, legends, mad men/fey, and monsters could be hidden amongst you. I love once upon a time, happily ever after, and the thought that the journey, the middle, that counts.
8. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or is it all imagination?
I do have a lot of “Easter eggs” as my children would call them in the series. My favorite completely obscure one is for my high school theatre group. At the cast parties after a run, we would watch; The Princess Bride, Monte Python and the Holy Grail, or Airplane. Book one I reference The Princess Bride, book two Holy Grail, and book three is about the air realm so there will definitely be a quote or two from Airplane.
9. What’s next for you?
I have my fingers crossed for a December release of Eitlean: Book Three of the Daearen Realms.
10. Which character speaks the loudest to you? Do any of them clamour to be heard over the rest?
I’m writing this series in first-person, so whomever I am writing at the time is the loudest.
11. What would YOU like the reader to know about your series or about you in general?
I’d like them to understand why I’m writing the Daearen Realms in first person. The first five books are each written from a different first person perspective. Each of those characters is in a different place in their lives and offers their unique perspective on what is happening in Daearen and the fey there. Each of those individual characters will have an important part to play in the outcome, and each has their journey to complete before they are ready for that final battle.
By the time six comes, the reader will have a personal big picture idea of what it’s like there. Then book six will go back to Sarette, the Spirit Queen’s perspective. She’s like a chess master. It’s her job to put all the pieces, or nudge the pieces, into the right positions. The first part of book six starts immediately after Meanmna and the reader is going to learn all the “why’s” or as Sarette puts it the “butterfly farts” of the story. Then once all the secrets are revealed the big final battle will ensue to save their world and ours consequently.
12. What sort of Starbuck’s coffee would your characters order? Simple coffee, complicated soy-non-fat-extra-espresso-half-caff-nightmare?
Elwin, Lilly, and Mathew: black.
Sarette: exotic roast with too much cream and sugar.
Banee-Belle: Triple shot, not fat, vanilla latte with three sugars and a cube of ice.
13. How do you deal with brilliant ideas that pop up while you’re writing something else?
I have a future folder filled on my computer with bullet point basic outlines of ideas that pop up. Sometimes I ignore them, sometimes I’ll take the time necessary to produce a more detailed outline, it all depends on the idea.
Seventeen-year-old Sarette has always thought of her life as average, even a bit boring. She does well in school, has a loving mother and a loyal best friend, Mathew. Of course, she has her problems as well—cold Michigan winters, a long-lost father she knows nothing about, and the lack of a boyfriend. She also has the vague sensation that she is being watched by some unseen entity, but figures that means she’s average and crazy. Nothing could be further from the truth . . .
Daearen isn't much different than the human world. Imagine a world where science is replaced with magic.
Emmy Gatrell has been a voracious reader since an early age and recently launched her own writing career with the highly rated Meanmna: Book One of the Daearen Realms series. The follow on book, Bienn-Theine: Book One of the Daearen Realms continues her success. As the mother of two boys, Emmy continues balancing writing, reading, and parenting—not it that order. She and her family split their time between the North Georgia Mountains and Costa Rica.
Website : http://emmygatrell.com/